Understanding Republicans, If You Must: Racism

Pretty much sums it up.

No matter what people want you to think, racism is alive and well in elections nowadays. The days of literacy tests and poll taxes might be gone. In fact, the days of proudly proclaiming your KKK membership are gone as well. But today, when someone walks into the secret voting booth, their emotions do the talking. And in this case, the votes never lie.

When looking at racism, there are really three kinds of groups that can be identified.  The first group of people are those that don’t like anyone that doesn’t look like them or has different values.  If we use a white person as an example, they would not vote for anyone that isn’t white. They also might not vote for anyone that is of a different religion. These are your people that will refuse to vote for Romney because he is a Mormon. The same applies to race.

The second group might sound the same, but are much different. These are people that don’t like a certain race or ethnic group. Many of these voters might dislike blacks, but are alright with Hispanics. These are the kind of people that would not vote for Kendrick Meek because he is black, but would vote for Marco Rubio. These voters, like the previous group mentioned, are usually in the rural areas of most states.

The final group of voters are a little more complex. Many of these people are actually from the white, middle-class Republican suburbs. These people are the ones that take the stereotype of an issue and turn it into race.

Let me explain this a little more. One issue that hasn’t really been an issue since 1996 is welfare reform. Bill Clinton pretty much destroyed the welfare system back then. Still, sixteen years later, white suburban Republicans will still talk about “people on welfare”, even though it hasn’t been a D.C. issue for nearly two decades. Whenever they talk about people on welfare, they always talk about “lazy people”. And whenever they wish to expand on that, they talk about blacks. Therefore, whenever a Republican voter states “we need to stop welfare”, what they are really saying is “I don’t like black people”, since welfare reform is as much of an issue on the Congressional agenda as Prohibition.

So these are the groups that usually make up the “racists”. And, I hate to say it, most of them are supporters of one party…the GOP. Yes, many might still be registered “Democratic” in north Florida, but that has more to do with the laziness of the voter compared to anything else. A north Florida registered voter doesn’t care ‘what’ they are registered, they just care that they are registered in general. Party label doesn’t mean as much to the average voter as much as we in the political world would like to think that it does.

Anyway, back to looking at the racists. There are two ways that you can look at the existence of racism in the Republican Party. The first one is very simple. Go to YouTube, search “Palin rally racism” or “McCain rally racism” and you have it right there! Nothing equates racism to the GOP better than hours and hours of voters on video specifically saying that they won’t vote for a black guy. Sometimes, YouTube is priceless!

The second, and more scientific way, of looking at racism is by looking at election results. The first signs of race playing out in elections in Florida was back in 1994, when Frank Brogan defeated Doug Jamerson for Commissioner of Education. Jamerson, a black Democrat, actually did carry a number of north Florida counties. But if you compare Jamerson’s election to the race for Secretary of State, there was a good 5%-7% gap between Jamerson’s vote totals in those counties and Ron Saunders’ votes in those north Florida counties. On the other hand, Jamerson did better than Saunders in counties like Orange and Seminole.

Since 1994, there hadn’t been a white Republican vs. black Democrat for statewide office election. Therefore there was nothing to compare the issue of race in north Florida. That was until 2008, when we had President Obama vs. John McCain. In 2006, 2008 and 2010 we saw something that would define the issue of race in Florida.

In our example, we will look at Liberty County (but honestly, most rural Florida counties would work). In 2004, John Kerry only won 35% of Liberty County. We can agree, a pretty good Dubya butt kicking. In 2006, Jim Davis won 48%, bringing down the gap from the Presidential election. But in 2008, Obama only won 28% of the vote. While that is much lower than Davis’ total, it is 7% lower than Kerry’s total. In 2010, Alex Sink won the county by 1.5%.

What caused that 7% gap between 2004 and 2008? Obama won the state in 2008, therefore convention wisdom would usually state that he would have done better in a county like Liberty. If we were to take what Kerry did and what Obama did statewide, Obama should have performed about the same as Kerry. Instead, he saw the lowest vote total for a Democrat ever in that county. What caused that swing? Both where liberals, one from Boston, the other from Chicago. There could only be one explanation for the 7% drop…race.

Race has always played a role in politics in the rural south and will continue to do so. I just isn’t an “in your face” type of issue like it was before. Instead it is more subtle and isn’t talked about in the public debate. But race does make a difference, and election results are the best way to measure it. The best way to observe it is YouTube. Gotta love YouTube!

Even with this racial divide, Republicans would want you to think that it isn’t just whites, but blacks that have this divide as well. Luckily, we have a race we can look at to debunk this myth as well, the 2006 Maryland Senate race between Michael Steele and Ben Cardin. Cardin, a white Democrat, won 74% of the black vote in this race, according to the CNN exit polls. What is even more interesting is if one were to look at the urban-area results on a precinct level, Cardin did even better, getting closer to 90%. Steele did better in more affluent black neighborhoods, especially those around D.C. suburbs. Even so, Cardin won in these areas by very large margins as well. Therefore, the Republican Party and conservatives claiming that black voters are just as racist as white voters simply isn’t true. If that was the case, Steele would be a U.S. Senator right now.

Race is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. On the other hand, it is something that cannot not be addressed directly in political campaigns. A candidate or media organization claiming that someone is a “racist” almost always backfires. And though the candidates aren’t usually racists themselves, many that will vote for these candidate will do so purely on race. And most of those people that vote purely on racist motives usually vote Republican nowadays.

Racism is a sad reality of elections, but it is a reality nonetheless.

38 thoughts on “Understanding Republicans, If You Must: Racism”

  1. Excellent article. More talk out there that we could see a “Bradley” effect again this year with polls. People claiming they are voting for Obama on the poll but then going into the polling booth and voting Romney.

  2. Bravo!!! Finally someone talking honestly and openly about racism in people’s voting patterns!! This is a far more prevalent an issue in people’s minds than most people think.

    Certainly not a direct parallel, but look how quickly George Zimmerman raised over $200,000 for his defense fund. It took only a matter of a few days after setting up his website.

  3. very interesting, Dave. Yes, I agree that Reps are the party of ‘anti-everybody-who-isn’t-white-and-male-and-U.S.’ But, how do you recommend we in the small counties ID the racists? Some will readily admit, but others will deny, since this is a socially unacceptable belief. I would think that merely asking an Obama approval question would also ID other factors, such as the crazies, and not ID voters who could potentially vote D in a local race….

  4. I don’t think you can identify them. I think you just need to realize that they are there and you have to deal with it. Also, identifying someone as “racist” on the VAN might cause a little bit of an uproar if anyone from the GOP found out lol.

    This comes back to my article about political psychology and sociology that I wrote the other day. One must understand the mindset of people within certain neighborhoods. For example, if I were to go to a neighborhood and look around, as well as examine election results, I could tell you if it a racist place or not. You just need to have the sixth sense of feeling it.

    But if you are in a situation, like a rural area, I think all you can do is identify your supporters and turn them out. I think IDing supports is much more important than IDing opponents. Assume everyone that you haven’t IDed as a supporter is an opponent until they are IDed as a supporter, if that makes sense.

  5. This is a thought process that has been in place for generations. It’s not going to change in the near future. These rural folks continue to vote against the party that is most likely to help them. Notice how Mitt goes to Boca Raton to raise money not rural Florida or any other rural areas.

  6. I don’t think that is as much cultural as much as it is that a retiree in Boca has about 20 times the amount of money as 800 north Floridians combined. But you are right, it isn’t going to change at all.

  7. There are some dumb racists in this country, and more of the young ones might think of themselves as Republicans because the main stream media tells them they are.

    But, history says otherwise.

    The Republican Party was founded to end slavery. Abraham Lincoln was the 1st Republican President. The Democratic Party was the party of slavery, the Confederacy, the KKK, Jim Crow, and segregation. The Republican Party has always been the party of freedom. To paraphrase another Republican, Martin Luther King, we should judge people “by the content of their character, and not the color of their skin.”

  8. To compare politics in 1860 to politics today is like saying the horse-and-buggy and the Ferrari 458 Italia are basically the same thing.

  9. Okay, if you want to give the Democratic Party a pass on over 100 years of it’s racist history all the way into the 1960s, so be it.

    So, what specifically is it that Republicans do that is racist today? Republicans largely treat people as individuals and judge them by the content of their character. Democrats largely treat people as a special interest, and judge them by the color of their skin. So who is racist?

  10. Oh, if you want to talk about something more recent, how about the whole Rich Iott dressing up as a Nazi. Yeah, that was classy.

  11. I mean, granted, I know that the Tea Party wants us to bring liberals kicking and screaming back into the Stone Age, which is why you want to equate Jacksonian Democrats to Obama Democrats.

    How are Republicans racists? Well, we aren’t the ones coming up with this “Obama was born in Kenya” crap, that is all GOP. Okay, maybe that isn’t as much racist (though I think it is because of racism), but just absolutely batshit crazy.

    So, can we make a truce? I will not say the GOP is racist if the GOP admits they are absolutely friggen insane and most of their views and positions on thing are absolutely pulled out of their asses? I think that is fair.

    And, if you actually read my article (which I think you failed to do), I already gave you the answer…..YouTube….”Palin rally racists”. There is your answer 🙂 Here, I will show you the first one I come up with:

  12. Attempting to use long-time Democrat David Duke as an example as a Republican is pathetic. The video was a poor attempt as proof as well.

    Obama’s literary agent said he was born in Kenya. Who cares?

    We can both cite examples of fringe members of both parties saying stupid stuff and go back and forth all day. Neither would prove anything along those lines.

    I cited the common sense way to look at, and have right side of history to back it up.

  13. So you are saying the Democrats are the racist party? Are you saying that Obama is “self-hating” then?

  14. The Democratic party, historically speaking, has been the party of racism. Pro-slavery. pro-Jim Crow, pro-segregation. Today, there policies are certainly more racist, even if their intentions are not.

    I don’t believe Obama to be anymore or less self-hating as any normal person, including Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Condoleeza Rice, Alan Keyes, Thomas Sowell, Star Parker, Tim Scott, Walter E. Williams, or Allen West are.

    It’s a pretty juvenile defense on your part.

  15. G, you must be reading a book about the history of the Democratic Party. You must not be at the post-Kennedy part of the book. Once you get there, please let me know.

    What is really interesting is that you fail to use any examples whatsoever of Democratic racism nowadays. Who are the ones passing the racial profiling laws? Not us, that is you. I am sure you will come to some ludicrous conclusion that those laws aren’t racist and there to “protect the people”. Again, just watch videos of anti-Obama people and pro-Obama people. One you much, much, much more racism in one than the other.

    In addition, to back up your theory that your party isn’t racist, you have to go 160 years back to come up with examples. I mean, I have heard of grasping at straws, but that is grabbing a little bit too far!

    Was the Democratic Party the party of racist in the past. Partially yes. In the south it was, in the north not as much. Is it now, absolutely not!

    Again, horse and buggy vs. Bugatti Veyron.

    It is okay Tea Partier, the 21st Century isn’t that bad. Go ahead and join the rest of us in it.

  16. And to go back to David Duke, if the Democratic Party was so racist, why did he switch? Why didn’t he just say a Democrat?

  17. All I ask is for you to talk about parties nowadays. I’m not voting in the 1860 election, I’m voting in the 2012 election. In fact, I was born 108 years after Lincoln was killed. But for some reason, you cannot talk in terms of the 21st Century. Once you talk about politics nowadays, I will actually start listening to you. But until then, I will just ignore you. No, that doesn’t mean you “won” the debate, that just means you are not really debating.

    Otherwise, you might want to read my latest article titled “Stupidity”. You might find yourself fitting in those groups quite well.

  18. Dave, you are amusing. 🙂

    In reply to your David Duke reference as some sort of proof against Republicans, here is the refutation. In 1964, 22 Democratic Senators voted against the ’64 Civil Rights Act, of which 21 fulfilled their careers as Democrats. Here is the list of those Senators, how long they continued to serve, and then how much longer their constituents reelected subsequent Democrat Senators:

    Josheph Hill (D) – served until 1968, further Democrats until 1981
    John Sparkman (D) – until 1979, and until1997
    James Fulbright (D) – until 1974, and until present
    John McClellan (D) – until 1977, and until 1997
    Spessard Holland (D) – until 1971, and until 1989
    George Smathers (D) – until 1969, and until 1969
    Herman Talmadge (D) – until 1981, and until 1981
    Richard Russell (D) – until 1971, and until 2003
    Allen Ellender (D) – until 1972, and until present
    Russell Long (D) – until 1987, and until 2005
    James Eastland (D) – until 1978, and until 1978
    John Stennis (D) – until 1989, and until 1989
    Benjamin Jordan (D) – until 1973, and until 1973
    Samuel Ervin (D) – until 1974, and until 1981
    Olin Johnston (D) – until 1965, and until 2005
    Herbert Walters (D) – until 1964, and until 1967
    Albert Gore, Sr. (D) – until 1971, and until 1971
    Absalom Robertson (D) – until 1966, and until 1973
    Harry Byrd, Sr. (D) – until 1965, and until 1983
    Robert Byrd (D) – until 2010, and until 2010

    Byrd was also once a member of the KKK, and served as the President of the Senate from the Democratic Party for 1989 – 1995, 2001 – 2003, and 2007 – 2010.

  19. Now to touch upon a few quick and easy other things…

    Since 1950, the population of the USA has doubled with the population in the southern states growing more rapidly than the norther states, and the minority populations growing much more rapidly than the caucasian population. This pretty much negates any geographic nonsense.

    I can honestly say I’ve not done much research on racial profiling laws, but there is ample evidence of criminal profiling working. Google – criminal profiling and research it. It is very effective.

    As for racist policies, the litmus test is quite simple. We hold everyone to the same standards regardless of race. Anything contrary to that is potentially racist.

  20. You haven’t done much research on racial profiling but you have on “criminal” profiling? You need to watch the news more.

  21. And I think it is damn funny that you now want to talk about the present in regards to population shifts (which in the rural counties I have mentioned, the populations haven’t shifted, just look it up), but when you talk about Democrats being racist, you have to go back to the 1950s. Quit embarrassing yourself dude.

  22. Setting lower standards for a minority to achieve than a caucasian is inherently racist. That is what we do with many of our affirmative action policies. Personally, I feel a person’s race does not mean they are inferior and need a lower standard to reach. If you do, then you might be a racist.

    Republicans are largely against the affirmative action policies that call for a different set of standards, where as many Democrats are largely for them.

  23. George W. Bush was accepted to Yale even though he didn’t meet the minimum requirements for acceptance as well as Jon Huntsman, Jr. to Penn. Is that alright? Many rich white people get accepted into places not based on academics, but on who their parents are and what kind of money they have. These whites are actually accepted to prestigious universities. So you are alright with that?

    Also, the fact that you think that inter-city youths have the same education quality as suburban whites shows that you are extremely out of touch with reality. Apparently, you don’t think everyone should be given an equal chance. Therefore, you are just and evil person. I mean, you are a Republican, so I don’t expect anything less.

  24. Still, I can debate until I am blue in the face. Please tell me how the Democratic Party today is more racist than the Republicans. Please base it on facts. I have presented you with a lot of facts including videos of racism at Republican events. Now it is your turn. I’ll wait to respond until you come up with some concrete answers 🙂

  25. If a private institution wishes to grant legacy applicants special consideration, I’m willing to listen. I’m not alright with it, but I’m not knee-jerk against it. I need to look into it more.

    I totally agree that inner city schools are not to the quality they need to be at. That is why I am a strong proponent of school choice. We need to empower families to have the freedom of choice of picking the school that is the best fit for their child’s needs. Republicans support school choice. Democrats are against it. School choice has been proven to work. We already know the status quo is not working. They’ve been throwing money at the problem for decades. The inner cities are run by Democrats. Public Schools are run by Democrats. It is not working.

  26. LOL, alright. Amazing that when I corner you on something, you come up with the “I’ll look more into it” line. Game. Set. Match 🙂

    Have a nice day 🙂

  27. You said that Republicans were racist and Democrats were not. I proved that historically false. So, then you insinuated the racist Democrats had become Republicans, and I proved that false. You then suggested that the South was racist, and the North was not, so I referenced the changing population dynamics to prove that was false as well. You now cite that southern rural areas have not grown in population, which just further validates my point. If southern rural areas are racist, and there populations have stagnated while the urban areas have more than doubled, then anti-black racism is minuscule per capita.

  28. Already covered two. Affirmative action (most aspects, not all), and Freedom of School Choice. Now you give me two where Republicans might be racist.

  29. LMAO. Dave, just because we may agree on some things here and there does not refute everything the other person stands for. You crack me up.

    I’ve had fun with the going back and forth with you. Hopefully something I shared with you will stick around in the back of your head until you’ve matured a little and you can refer back to it.

    Until then, take care. Sincerely, G.